Birth of Mini-Biz makes five as outreach program branches out
Come September, McGill University will launch Canada's first Mini-Biz program, an educational outreach program taught by internationally acclaimed business experts from McGill's Desautels Faculty of Management on topics ranging from entrepreneurship to sustainable business practices.
Like its mini siblings — Mini-Med, Mini-Law, Mini-Music and Mini-Science — Mini-Biz will focus on presenting accessible topics in an engaging, inspiring and entertaining way. The lectures are presented in lay terms, there are no prerequisites, term papers or exams, and a question and answer period is included. Past Mini lectures have attracted everyone from inquisitive high school students exploring potential future fields of study to seniors keen to continue boosting their knowledge. Enrolment in each of the McGill Mini programs is $100 for adults and $60 for students and seniors. Each program consists of six to eight lectures. Mini-Med and Mini-Law programs will be offered along with Mini-Biz this fall. Mini-Science and Mini-Music sessions will be offered in the spring.
Since the program's inception in 2001, it has become a runaway success, producing more than 3,000 "Mini alums," says McGill Board of Governors member Kappy Flanders. "McGill's Mini programs are popular because they quench the general public's need for quality learning," explains Flanders, known as the honorary dean of the Mini series since spearheading the program at McGill and across Canada. "Each lecture features the best professors, who volunteer and transmit the essence of their specialty. Our faculty is doing a superb job since most Mini alumni are repeat students who register for each new chapter we create."
History of McGill's Mini programs
Mini-Med, the first such public education program in Canada, was launched at McGill's Faculty of Medicine in fall 2001. The concept was an immediate hit and quickly branched out to McGill-affiliated institutions such as the Douglas University Institute in Mental Health, the Jewish General Hospital and the Montreal Children's Hospital. Since then, universities across the country have followed suit with their own Mini programs. The original Mini-Med school was the brainchild of McGill alumnus J. John Cohen, who launched the program at the University of Colorado in 1990. In creating Mini-Med, Dr. Cohen's goal was to enhance ties between academia and the wider community. More than 80 medical schools, universities, research institutions and hospitals in the United States now offer Mini-Med schools.